I remember back when it was a big deal that the Republican leadership had decided that they wouldn’t be part of the reality-based community anymore:
The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
Unfortunately, the universe is completely indifferent to our philosophies about reality. On a wide variety of issues, ranging from national security, to coronavirus, to climate, propaganda doesn’t control the rules of the game. Only paying attention to the physical reality of the situation, and responding to what we learn that way can let us have any control over the situation. We fail to do so at our own peril.
Biden gets that. Way back in April, he was saying:
Wear a mask in public.
Read your daily briefings.
Listen to the experts.
This really isn’t rocket science. It’s common sense.
If you want an antidote to the propaganda, join r/JoeBiden
If you want to help vote him out, check your voter registration — it needs an update if you’ve moved, changed names, or been booted off the rolls by a Republican Secretary of State. So register now. If you can, sign up for vote-by-mail, and set a reminder to return your ballot around October 15.
If you want to help motivate more people, talk with them. First friends, then volunteer to phonebank.
If you want to make sure that there are organizers to help people volunteer, and ads on the air, then donate. You can either attend an event like the Aug. 12 grassroots event with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris or the Aug. 17 Virtual Reception with Vice President Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi or just whatever fits your budget.
For vote-by-mail, send that ballot in early. The Trump administration has removed mail sorting equipment to slow down the mail, and many states won’t count ballots which arrive after election day. If your state has ballot drop-off locations, you can put your ballot directly into a ballot box to avoid mail delays. These are organized at the county level, so do a search like this one, substituting the name of your state and county in order to find out where. You may need to read through several results to get a list. Make sure you pay attention to rules about signing the envelope, putting a return address on it, stamps (some states prepay postage, others don’t), and avoid writing on official-use-only parts of the ballot.
If you’re voting in person, be aware that there are likely to be longer lines than usual. A lot of older poll workers from past elections won’t come back this year due to coronavirus risk. If your state has early voting, take advantage of it if you can; it cuts election-day lines for everybody. If you have to wait until election day to vote, be aware that if you show up in line before the polls close, and refuse to leave, they have to let you vote. So be prepared to wait for hours; for me, that would mean bringing water, snacks, a warm layer, an umbrella, and a folding chair.